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Who are the Cabiri and the Ishmaelites?

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  • Who are the Cabiri and the Ishmaelites?

    I know they’re two different kinds of Undying (mummies), but I’m not exactly sure who they are. Thanks.


    “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

  • #2
    For context, prior to Mummy: the Resurrection, the Egyptian Undying defined themselves by whether they followed Horus and his cause. Those who followed Horus were known as the Shemsu-heru; those who rejected Horus's cause were called Ismaelites, after the first of their kind. They weren't actually any kind of organised faction; it's just the Shemsu-heru term for those who rejected their cause.

    The Cabiri are European Undying, who trace their origin back to an Egyptian mummy called Cabirus who claimed to have been taught the Spell of Life by Thoth, and the book recording his knowledge, the Secret Writings of Cabirus. As far as the Shemsu-heru are concerned, the Secret Writings are a stolen version of their Spell.


    Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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    • #3
      Thank you. That’s really helpful.


      “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

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      • #4
        In my head canon, the Cabari are their own thing originating out of Ancient Greek chthonic cults devoted to Persephone, Hades, and Demeter, going into the Greek Underworld during their death and regeneration period.

        I've also fiddled with the idea of ancient Mesopotamian Undying based on the Sumerian god-king Tammuz and the goddess Inanna.


        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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        • #5
          Is there any relation between the Ishmaelites and Ishmael the son of Abraham?


          “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Penelope View Post
            Is there any relation between the Ishmaelites and Ishmael the son of Abraham?
            Other than the behind the scenes bit of it likely being the inspiration behind the name, not that I can recall.


            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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            • #7
              Thank you. That makes sense.


              “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

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              • #8
                I wish I knew more about Australian Aboriginal culture and myth lore, because I keep thinking that Aboriginal immortals would be an interesting concept.


                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                • #9
                  One of the things I wish MtR had done was giving more time to the Cabiri rather than discarding them after Mummy second. But given that you had two other non-Amenti 'Mummy' factions carried forward there's no reason the Cabiri couldn't still be a thing. They might have transitioned to 'modern' mummies in a different way, but it's no less valid. Indeed there's no reason each culture/society couldn't have its own Amenti-analogues. Something like WoD Immortals might be useful (along with MtA's sorcerer) to devise their powers and similar (Hekau are a kind of hedge magic after all..)

                  You could even reimagine Highlander immortals!

                  That's one of the reasons I've liked MtR. Its a 'different' kind of supernatural that can be mortal.. and yet not mortal and yet there's so many ways it could slot into the setting.

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                  • #10
                    Given that British bog mummies are a thing, I wonder how they would work as a faction.


                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                      Given that British bog mummies are a thing, I wonder how they would work as a faction.

                      I had to read up on this concept after you mentioned it, and I agree, they would be a fascinating concept, in no small part because the reasons for their existence are still highly debated. From what I've read there is strong indications of ritual significance (and you can thus extrapolate a supernatural/ritualistic creation like Amenti) but unlike Amenti it may not be intentional. Rather it might be considered a side effect of the ritual process. The impression I get broadly is that a 'Bog Mummy' would have some similarities to the Risen, but without necessarily being driven by something like revenge or similar. Indeed the motives could be even more complicated ('mummies' have been speculated to be religious sacrifices, some sort of 'protection' against the supernatural, travellers/wanderers, sorcerers/witches, and so on.) Some of the more esoteric examples implied something akin to sin eaters or some sort of supernatural redemption. The craziest example I found had mention of "Frankenstein" mummies created from multiple bodies. Which are all interesting because you might be able to borrow from CoD concepts (Promethean and Geist come to mind) to build on. Most of the sources seem to agree that the mummies were special or exceptional in many respects (Even though early on they thought they might have been criminals or lower classes.. although that's certainly possible too.)

                      Narratively, I suspect such would be unintentionally created as I mentioned (perhaps 'empowered' or created by some other supernatural entity. A Deity, spirit, or something similar) but they might also be considered a form of 'living' Risen. Brought back to life by some sort of unfufilled tasks or goals. The actual reasons and motivations could be as varied as you wanted (I probably only touched on a handful of the speculative reasons) and likewise their powers/knowledge/experiences could be shaped by such. One who was a traveller might have extensive knowledge for example (this reminds me of how earlier edition mummies had origins tied to 'professions' as well.) Another of the possibilities I read about suggested that the Bog Mummies were foreigners whose burial customs were unknown which offers interesting possibilities as well.

                      Edit: Other options for Immortals might be the 'Cursed wandereres' like the Wandering Jew myth.
                      Last edited by Mister_Dunpeal; 06-20-2020, 01:00 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I suspect the easiest method would be to cheat and tie them to certain Celtic traditions, including pre-Roman druids and the Cauldron of Rebirth, among other things.


                        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                        • #13
                          No One of Consequence why is that cheating?


                          “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                            No One of Consequence why is that cheating?
                            My - admittedly limited - understanding of bog mummies is that they also appear in Denmark and other areas, and a lot of them may predate what we traditionally think of as Celtic cultures.


                            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                            • #15
                              Got it. Thanks.


                              “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

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